A Place of Contemplation

                Salal and Labrador tea mingled on the Upper Hawk’s Pond shore, providing shade and protection for frogs and mallards long before the Quiet Place existed. Maureen Vis had never heard of the Quiet Place while she and her husband ran Foulweather Farm in Hansville back in the 1990s, but Maureen recognized the beauty of the pond and the importance of attracting people to its shores.

                Her vision along with others led to the Hansville Greenway trails, except Maureen was given little time to enjoy them. She was 56 when she died in 1998. Her family honored her life with the construction of a viewing platform at the Quiet Place and a plaque that says in part, “It was her hope that visitors to this special place would experience a bond with nature and renewal of spirit.”

“ She was a good leader, one of the Big 3 in the community,” says Ken Shawcroft, one of the Greenway founders.

                Women from the correctional institution at Purdy carried in the building materials for the platform, which was the first structure built on the Greenway. Architect John Armstrong designed a generous deck with sturdy benches that hovers at the pond’s edge. Volunteers provided labor.

From the platform’s vantage point, hikers see mallards and ring-billed ducks swimming through lily pads, bald eagles sizing up meal possibilities, an igloo-shaped beaver’s den. Two hikers once reported sighting a black-billed trumpeter swan sailing across the placid water.

                “I’ve seen artists drawing there, people reading,” Ken says.

                The perfect getaway.

Cynthia Taggart